Italy bans Christmas markets due to COVID-19 pandemic

Published on : Wednesday, November 11, 2020

As a part of the new rules in the latest Italian Government Decree of November 3, 2020, the one that divided Italy into red, orange and yellow zones, an explicit ban has been established on the opening and holding of Christmas markets, one of the long established Christmas celebration traditions in the country, a source of business and enjoyment for children. Therefore, all the events associated with the market that is carried out outside the ordinary commercial activity in spaces dedicated to stationary or occasional market activity, fall under the trade fares category, currently stands prohibited.

The provision applies to the entire Italian territory. The added restriction deprives tour operators and travel agencies of another leading product in the tourism sector as well as from the significant segment in the annual planning of organised tourism. According to the Confesercenti statistic data, in recent years, more than more than 560  Christmas markets set up in Italy, have attracted an average of 13 million visitors and produced a gross turnover of over 780 million euros, and involved the activity of 28 thousand exhibitors, mainly street vendors, artisans and travel agents.

Alongside providing entertainment for children and engaging adults in Christmas fervour, these markets also resulted in significant financial gains that were generated in the various locations that hosted these typical pre-Christmas shopping markets. All of these now stands cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, affecting the livelihoods of many and barring visitors from experiencing one of the best Christmas offerings from Italy.

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